Random 5 for February 18 – Time, stress, potholes, gas stations, feeling foolish

Black holes – Between researching ancestors and the Olympics it’s been hard to find time for anything, even bathroom runs. Take-out, pizzas and mysterious meals in my freezer have been my friends. Both my free subscription to an ancestor research site and the Olympics end at the same time. That is lousy timing on my part.

Speaking of the Olympics – I’ve been watching Nathan Chen. That guy pulled a miracle out of his skates for the long program but sadly it wasn’t enough. I’ve never competed on that level but I get it. The intensity gets into your head and does you in. I always did best when I didn’t care. Hats off to him for coming back.

Potholes everywhere – The first one sprouted near my Starbucks about 6 weeks ago (I whined about it then). It continued to get deeper like a sunflower putting down deep roots. Then it invited relatives to join but only in strategic driving lanes. Now there are many and one is so deep it warrants an orange cone. I’m convinced if you look into it you will see Asian people toiling in the fields (just like Mom said). My Starbucks run is very treacherous. Avoiding potholes is the next Olympic sport!

Gas stations – I live in a “pump your own” state. I don’t like it but it’s not rocket science…or is it. This past week I went to a new station. There were a couple of things I noticed right away. The screen where you activate it was high. I’m not that short but I was stretching. Next the sun put a glare on it so I couldn’t see anything it said. After numerous attempts at what I thought should happen I ended up with no gas. I went later in the day with the beloved husband (when the sun was in the other direction) and found that the first question to answer is “Do you have a rewards card?” Oops! I learn something new every day. Maybe the lesson is to look for the sun when driving into a gas station. I wonder if some stations have a tilted screen or little awning over them so the sun glare doesn’t wash it out. (BTW there was no one outside to ask. I feared that I wouldn’t be able to read any other messages on the screen so I chose to drive off empty tanked. I could have walked inside and paid there but that’s so old school!)

Speaking of doing dumb stuff – I no longer feel foolish when I can’t figure something out and drive away empty-handed. Aging has done that for me. How about you?

So how what your week?

59 thoughts on “Random 5 for February 18 – Time, stress, potholes, gas stations, feeling foolish

  1. I peek in on the Olympics at irregular intervals, which means I see some interesting things and miss a few things I wanted to see. Sorry I missed Nathan Chen. My favorites are ice skating and ice dancing. But I have enjoyed the snow boarding and ski jumping. Those people are so talented … and a little bit crazy.

    I’m about the same height I’ve always been, but my eyes are worse and I wear bifocals. So if I have to read something that’s more than a few inches above my head, it’s nearly impossible. This week I was trying to buy some special trail mix from the top row of bins, and I had the hardest time reading the code. I stood on my tippy toes, leaned my head back to use my bifocals and squinted. It worked.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I can rarely see those little screens by the gas pumps. If it’s not the glare of the sun, it’s my bifocals aren’t positioned on my nose properly. If there was ever a place for gas stations to splurge on their infrastructure, it’d be to make those screens larger– and glare-proof like a Kindle. Just saying…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The Olympics have been a nice refuge from the otherwise rather horrific happenings of the past week. It’s wonderful to see young people succeed, and even when they don’t have their best performance, they’re outstanding. And if someone invents a quality non-glare glass for gas pumps and security pads etc. it will be a grand day! I’ve had the same problem, and as I poke at the screen I wonder what I’ve agreed to! My almost 86-year old mother has learned to pump her own gas! I think that’s bravery in action. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ahh yes, the dreaded swallow up the car pothole. Our city has a website where you can report them and even include a photo. For one reason I cannot determine (other than it’s right at the dividing line to the next city/county) it’s never been addressed. The last time I posted it I included the notation, ‘for the love of all that’s holy’ please fix this @%&# hole. Still waiting. *Sigh*

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Kate…be warned that parking space meters are going to screens as well. You no longer just add in coins and see how much time on the dial. The other day, with the sun, I couldn’t see it at all. And had no idea how to work it! I was afraid to use a credit card, and because I wanted to meet my friend for happy hour, I couldn’t just drive away. I couldn’t stand her up. So I put in all the quarters in my purse and hoped for no ticket. The light went “green” but I had no idea how long it would stay that way! It was red when I got back…but, no ticket. Not sure I’ll agree to meet her at that place again. It was lovely, but no parking except for the meters. It’s bad when the new technologies take away choices!

    Liked by 1 person

    • And automatic car washes too. There you have to select choices and sometimes you can’t see anything. We have to pay to park once a year for a meeting we attend. It used to be simple. Then they went to a central area where you paid for your parking spot (credit card only, no cash) so you needed to be sure to have the right number. Then they changed it again. It wasn’t only us. The line would get long with people getting confused. New isn’t always better. They need to come up with technology so you can see the screen even in bright sunlight.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I have thoughts on two of your random notes. Potholes: My first winter back here from Florida, I had to take my mom to an outpatient medical procedure. Afterward I dropped her at home and set off to get the prescriptions given to her. As I pulled into the parking lot of the pharmacy, I tried to avoid a cavernous pothole, but didn’t quite make it. I hit so hard I could’ve sworn I heard an explosion. When I parked, it turned out that I DID hear an explosion. It was my tire popping! A flat tire. Not a good day.

    Gas stations: I’m short. I would’ve never been able to reach those buttons, let alone see them from the sunlight. There are many things in daily life out of my reach. I’ve considered getting my fellow short humans together and doing a protest march in DC, because it’s not fair to us. All shelves (in stores, etc) and counter tops (bank teller, post office, etc.), should be lowered for us. So many others who feel discriminated against are getting what they protest for. I think it’s the shorties’ turn. ;-D

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The relentless gas station innovations – bleh! Every company has different interfaces, and many of them were not designed with any connection to reality. Can people reach this screen? Is it readable? Does it ask a bunch of random questions that people will never know the answers to? Should we have it get impatient in the middle of the customer answering and cut away to little advertising videos of hot dogs the now gasless customer can come inside and buy?

    Liked by 1 person

    • You captured it! There are a few websites to go to that are like that too. Every time it seems they have “improved” something. Sometimes it’s intuitive and sometimes not. There is this move to hide everything even tasks you do frequently. Now where are they…under the 3 dots or by this squiggly thing?

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  8. You can always spot the New Jersey visitors here in Florida because they’re very unfamiliar with gas pumps. I’ve often wanted to offer some assistance but am afraid of a hearty “ fuhgettaboutit!” in response. Man, I need to get on the stick– I have no idea who Nathan Chen is! – Marty

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’ve managed to miss the Olympics this time. (No time and no cable) I really respect anyone who can ice skate. I’m not half bad on roller skates, but I can’t see how anyone manages to stand on those little blades. I spent more time polishing the ice with my butt than I did gracefully gliding. Embarrassing!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I had that experience recently at the gas station. Not only was I blinded by the sun, but they had three new selections for REGULAR gas…what? I poked my head around the pump and commented to the fella pumping his gas that I thought regular was just regular. He was clueless, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I have gotten where I hate going to the drive-through at the fast food. They can’t speak plain, or the equipment speaker is all full of static, then I have two other people in the car, trying to tell me what they want. My short-term memory, can’t even be measured with a micrometer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My husband doesn’t like food drive-throughs either. The speakers are all crackly and you never know what you’ll end up with. Starbucks is a good system. It’s clear (at least at the one i go too). I make people write things down because between them talking to me and the server asking questions, it’s overload on my circuits.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I no longer feel foolish when I can’t figure something out . . . but I don’t usually drive away empty-handed ~> I ask questions of employees, other customers, etc..

    What do I care? They’ll never see me again. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I get mad when I drive away empty-handed: “Who designed that stupid screen? Who closes at 6 PM, just when people are leaving work?! You’ve wasted my time I am never coming back!”

    Only imagine that with a lot more profanity.

    Yes, hats off to Nathan! Way to come back, kid. Also, was I the only one who noticed the seventeen-year-old has GREY hairs?! I feel ya, kid. My grey hairs popped up at 16.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I had a strange week when all my plans got cancelled for reason or another, so I suddenly had all this free time. What did I do with it? Puttered it away. I should feel guilty I suppose – but I don’t. Puttering sometimes is good for the soul 🙂

    I did get my DNA results yesterday and now I’m at risk of falling into the rabbit hole too. As I suspected, I have virtually no DNA matches. A surprise connection here would have been nice.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I often find my glasses on my head when I can’t find them. I just pretend it didn’t happen.

    Your avid interest in your lineage is interesting…I’m sired from mutts but boy, could they cook.

    I rarely drive and haven’t been following the Olympics. Been obsessed with the shooting in Florida. Should write about it but I know I’ll gat slammed.

    Love the R5

    Liked by 1 person

  16. The gas station thing, argh! When my station started another credit card verification step, I didn’t realize it. I was just going by muscle memory and trying to buy gas (swipe, push a couple of buttons, pump). After 3 tries, the machine shut me out. I guess it thought I was trying to steal gas using a fake credit card. A teenage boy came to my rescue. Fortunately, I had a second credit card on hand, and the young fellow kindly showed the old lady how it’s done.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I could have used a savvy child! In our area, gas stations are one of the big targets for credit card fraud. None of the stations I’ve used have a chip reader. It would be nice to have added security. That is IF I could read the screen and know what to do. I’m starting to sound like my mother. Never did use a drive-through. They were too scary.


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